Who said work was supposed to be fun, right? Well, why the hell not? If there was ever a time to take a chance and be innovative, it's now, when the market for traditional jobs is tight. Turns out, there are crazy-good ways to score your rent that are so cool and surprising, you may not know they exist. Several of the fun jobs that follow are potential career paths; others are one-timers that earn you extra cash. Whether or not you're ready to jump, just knowing about these wacky positions will inspire you to think outside the box.
Doggy Flight Attendant
Crazy about travel? A sucker for creatures with four legs and a tail? Consider flying with Pet Airways. As a pet attendant, you'll take charge of animals at the pet lounges, dole out belly rubs and ear massages en route, and deliver them safely to their owners at the end of the trip. Be sure to squeeze in some shopping and barhopping before flying back to home base. Pet Airways hires people who have worked with pets professionally - at a vet's office or doggy day care - or have extensive pet experience. Apply at petairways.com/content/jobs.
It's like real-life Flip This House: Speed decorators are hired by homeowners and real-estate agents to turn a home that isn't selling into a gorgeous abode that has buyers salivating. Jill Vegas, author of Speed Decorating, says the work can range from simple tweaks (fresh flowers, crisp linens) to serious interventions - bringing in a sexy sofa, the perfect lamp, or colorful carpet. To get started, apprentice with a speed decorator, or decorate for free for friends to build up word-of-mouth buzz. Good stagers in major cities can charge $100 to $250 an hour.
It's possible to run off with the circus - even if the thought of stepping onto the high wire scares the crap out of you. Cirque du Soleil, known for its amazing acrobatics and creative shows, places teachers with each production to educate child stars and children of the performers while traveling the world. Teachers must be able to teach in French and English and instruct on everything from elementary school math to high school literature to intensive language classes. Cirquedusoleil.com/jobs lists openings (some positions require a teaching certificate).
Tropical Talent Tamer
Booking and handling performers at a music club is a fun job. But doing so in an exotic locale? Freakin' fantastic. From Hawaii to the Caribbean, resorts with performance spaces hire production assistants and event planners to manage show logistics. Staffers often get to meet celebs and help set up A-list events like photo shoots, concerts, and movie-location filming - all while living in paradise. Go to a large resort company's Website or HR department to find jobs, and expect to start off making about $100 to $150 a day for freelance production work or around $25,000 a year for a permanent position.